Wednesday 29 December 2010

River Roach - Small Stream Adventures - Disciples of Rutilus - Part 2

On the day after boxing day, a day that has always been and shall forever remain as nameless as the back of the knee or the inside of the elbow, me and Keith went roaching. We decided that we'd target a stretch of the stream that we knew held a good head of roach having observed them there in summer. I arrived first and set up above the favoured spot, a short stretch of water fringed along the far bank with reeds and with reasonable depth just below a confluence with a side stream.

Tuesday 28 December 2010

River Roach - Small Stream Adventures - Disciples of Rutilus - Part 1

You may have noticed that we've had a record breaking month? Yep, it's official - December 2010 was not only the dryest month for nets, but also the slackest month for lines since records began...

Thursday 16 December 2010

Canal Zander - My Quest for a Big Cut Zed - Cabin Fever

Seems like ages since I last fished. The freezing weather hasn't been to blame - I have yet to encounter conditions severe enough to stop me trying to get my net wet - no, I've been cooped up due to one damn thing after another damn thing and then just as the horizon cleared and it looked as if I might get to exploit a few scarce holes in the canal's ice cap created by the recent thaw (which now looks to be over before it was complete) I was struck down with a short sharp dose of flu that put me down for days.

Friday 3 December 2010

River Roach - Small Stream Adventures - Roach Reprise

What with the canal frozen solid for the last week or more and no near future chance of getting out to my big river venue of choice, there simply was no question about where I would end up next. Tackle was pared down to the bare minimum - a quiver in which I stowed a Shakespeare 9ft wand teamed to an Okuma Centrepin, 4lb line, ten foot net pole, one tripod seat, two bank sticks, one for the camera, one for the keepnet and a net bag containing the two nets and a half loaf of Warburtons Blue. The only other necessaries were split-shot, bb, and hooks, barbed size twelve.

Thursday 2 December 2010


The ice is now thick enough to support my skinny butt but I'd advise fellows of ampler frame to wait a while yet before venturing out upon the slippery stuff. I heard a crack as I dismounted, so it's not quite there yet, however, I am planning a novelty ice fishing assault on the canal in the next few days if the freeze keeps on keeping on...

Monday 29 November 2010

Canal Roach - Can't Fish? Must Fish...!

This surprise early winter weather has brought my zander campaign to a premature halt as the prime hotspots are now covered in two inch thick ice and according to the weatherman, likely to remain that way or worsen, for the next fortnight or so. Before it got really cold I did manage to fish through the only watery gap I'd found in the ice for a mile or more in any direction, for roach, with lobworms, for about an hour or so before the surface began to freeze over once again and forced me off.

Thursday 25 November 2010

Canal Zander & Pike - Fishing for Irish Pearls

The Wednesday evening excursion up the cut with Lee was utterly devoid of action apart from my losing both sets of end tackle and a hundred yards of mono to the propellors of a boat that ploughed straight through my lines while I was distracted and taking pictures of a fish decorated bridge...

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Canal Zander & Pike - My Quest for a Big Cut Zed - Neither Up Nor Down

It has befallen me that I should have to fish three consecutive evenings of the same week. How unlucky is that? Judy has an Ofsted inspection coming up and as she holds a managerial position at Henley College, she and every other person in a position of responsibility there (and in every other education establishment up and down the country) assume the behavioral tics of a pertrified spaniel on Guy Fawks Night.

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Canal Zander & Pike - My Quest for a Big Cut Zed - An Upturn of Fortune?

Below there's a simple chart showing the weight in pounds of each zander of the total of eighteen caught since I began my campaign back in early October (ignoring those caught on lobworm whilst roach fishing) in sequence. It's not particularly spectacular, is it? But, as anyone who has fished the canal for zander will testify, it's what you have to expect.

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Canal Zander & Pike - My Quest for a Big Cut Zed - The Towpath Grapevine

Last year I got it into my head that high pressure weather systems and good zander fishing did not sit comfortably together, but this year I have gone out a few times under the typically still, often foggy and icy cold weather conditions it produces around this time of the year and apart from a blank last week with Lee out Bedworth way, have had run after run. So much for that theory then...

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Canal Zander & Pike - My Quest for a Big Cut Zed - Right Size Wrong Fish

I thought that I'd be chasing the canal roach at this time of the year but I just can't seem to muster the energy to mount a campaign with the idea of a big zander uppermost in my mind. I want to catch a double figure zander from the canal. I know they're present, albeit in very small numbers compared to the seemingly endless supply of schoolies between one and two pounds weight, but don't exactly know of their whereabouts, though I'm starting to have some ideas about how to shorten the odds.

Friday 12 November 2010


I've been fishing thrice since my camera died and I hated the experience, I can tell you. Not because the fished was so bad, actually no it was terrible - lovely locations - great company - ornery fish, but because I just could not bear the idea of fishing without having some means at hand of recording my catches if those catches turned out to be personally historic. I just could not chill...

Monday 8 November 2010


The canal is in transition. Winter approaches, and the fish know it all too well. I have been out testing the waters for roach potential but have to report that the zander and perch season is far from over and so lobworms, the canal-in-winter specimen roach bait par excellence, are simply not going to stay on the deck long enough for the roach to home in before one or the other of our prickly friends gets to them.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Canal Zander & Pike - Lucius Lucius, Minimus, Maximus

If it weren't for Steve of Watery Reflections pushing my buttons, I wouldn't have mentioned this little fella so soon, as I've worn out my long serving 8 mega pixel (how retro is that?) full metal jacket, two year old workhorse of a compact digi and was intending to eek out my limited resources, of as yet unpublished fishy pics and stories, until a new one lands on the doormat...

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Capricious River

I seem to have been able to fish the town waters at Stratford upon Avon rather a lot this year, due in large part to the convenient habits of my womenfolk who like to take a stroll around the town, buying a little in the way of baubles and bangles, eating a lot of expensive Italian nosh from Carluccios and generally having a girlie time out while I do the manly thing, and get right out of their way...

Friday 29 October 2010

Canal Zander - Lucioperca Problematica - The Quest for a Cut Double

I have all but abandoned the idea that the canal can provide me, or anyone else for that matter, with the twenty one and a bit pounds of zander in the one session that it will take to gain the elusive challenge point for the species if that session is not to be a 48 hour long stay assault ~ a pleasant holiday after carp or barbel on some tranquil pond or babbling brook, perhaps ~ but a self-inflicted torture upon a busy canal, believe me...

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Canal Zander - Lucioperca Problematica - The Sticks After Dark

Lee, author of This Angling Life came over to my manor last Friday evening for a pint at the Greyhound and then walk of a mile to some prime zander territory that I have had earmarked for some time but just haven't got round to fish because of its horrendous daytime boat traffic, very narrow towpath and the fact that it's just too remote for comfortable solo sessions in the pitch black when the fishing there would be at its easiest.

Wednesday 20 October 2010

The Kindness of Strangers - Slow Death, Bottom Bouncers and Circle Hooks

I've received two parcels through the post in the last week from two new friends of mine made through the power of blogging. Steve Dedrick (Steve in Colorado) kindly offered to send over a pack of Gamkatsu circle hooks in a pattern that his friend, a fanatical walleye angler, swears by and Pete (coelecanth from Fishing Magic Forum) offered to send out one of his 'bottom bouncers' for me to try.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Canal Zander - Lucioperca Problematica - A Herculean Task

For zander, the wooded stretch of the Oxford Canal outside the Elephant and Castle pub up by Tusses Bridge looks the part all right; in shade for most of the day and lined with boats but I got no bites there last time out and none this time either. I'm starting to rethink what is zander water and what is not as we've been fed the line down the years that zander like the dark more than the light but I actually think that zander like the murk between, the very conditions which give them the slight edge over the prey that they feed upon.

Friday 15 October 2010

Canal Zander - Lucioperca Problematica - Percentages

Last week's zander rig experiment on the Coventry and Oxford Canals produced encouraging but unreliable data. I had five pickups resulting in four banked fish and one missed on the strike. That's 80% hook and hold, which is very good but is a figure that cannot be trusted as there's simply not enough data there to draw conclusions from, is there?

Thursday 14 October 2010

Scratching' the Itch - Plucking About

The salmon incident and sea trout capture provided a convenient full stop for the mornings events but it's an inexact division because I carried on fishing for a further hour till we actually broke for lunch. I just could not stop...

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Scratching the Itch - Walking the Fish

There are places where a British coarse angler absolutely has to cast a line at least once in a lifetime of fishing. My list is topped by Redmire Pool, even though the carp fishing there is a now a mere shadow of its record breaking heyday. The Royalty on the Hampshire Avon is a must and one day before I die I will walk its hallowed banks. I'd like to do Throop on the Dorset Stour, Startops Reservoir, Kings Weir on the Lea and other rivers stretches, lakes and ponds too numerous to mention.

Sunday 10 October 2010

The Pope, in Coventry?

I got out this evening for a spot of ruffe fishing. Out of the four fishing challenge participants, all of whom are currently racking their brains, trawling the net, phoning a friend and generally wasting their time in pursuit of them.

Friday 8 October 2010

Thursday 7 October 2010

Canal Zander - Lucioperca Problematica - Apres Lunch

Setting back out again just after devouring a specimen of the very species I was targeting felt at once most satisfying and somehow familiar, as if I had made fundamental contact with the hunter gatherer roots of the very 'sport' I like to indulge myself in. It was odd to make such a repast not some time after close of play, but between times. I was more than half way back toward my antediluvian self by the time I arrived back upon the towpath...

Canal Zander - Lucioperca Problematica - Pre-Lunch

I wasn't about to suffer a further blank when I made my mind up about fishing plans for the coming week, I was going to take a different tack and target species I'd not considered all year long, namely the apex predators, pike and Zander.

Friday 1 October 2010

The Proverbial London Bus

After drawing a blank at Stratford, my first blank of the entire year in fact, I would never have expected to follow it up with not just a second fishless session, but then a third too. It's not that I didn't get bites, I did, but for some unfathomable reason I could not hook the fish doing the biting...

Monday 27 September 2010

Shit Happens...

There's not a lot of positive things to say about my last week's fishing attempts and scanning through numerous other blogs I see the story of angler's woe is not mine alone to tell. I tried to get out on that day last week when it was really warm, you may remember it? and I think we all should try because I have a sneaking suspicion that that was the last we'll see of the warmth till May next.

Monday 20 September 2010

No Trouble at' Mill

The fishing challenge is reaching a very interesting stage with Keith having all but run out of easy targets and now confronting the tricky apex predators, the curiously elusive ruffe and the all but impossible catfish, grass carp and eel. Only grayling is now an easy ride for him but the rest of us still have plenty of the less difficult species left on our plates, and I have the most of all to do with just eight points on the board so far. With three and a half months to go, the end result is anything but a forgone conclusion.

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Seeking Silver

I thought I'd get out for a couple of hours up the canal and after silver bream, as I do need to get the challenge point for them at some point between now and New Years Eve. It's a particular stretch that holds these fish, and I've never caught them elsewhere on the cut. I just wanted to establish that they were there, still swimming around at the place where I'd last encountered them in springtime.

Monday 13 September 2010

Commercial Sense: The Sweet Smell of Relief

The air thickens with the faint sweetness of decay as I make my way down the track and through the woods to my chosen swim. As I amble through the glimmering thickets, my upper consciousness notices the inner dialog of my quotidian self veer suddenly off track

Friday 10 September 2010

Commercial Sense: The Improved Art of Floating Crust

I knew just as soon as I got out the door on the morning dog walk down the cut that I'd be having another crack at the carp of the local commercial fishery, as the weather was just perfect for the approach and likely to remain that way the whole day long.

Thursday 9 September 2010

On The Turn

I've been trying to replicate an accidental success with turning casters that I had a couple of months ago. I left some out in the yard by accident, forgot about them and then it rained heavily, filling the bait tin with water. When I found them, all the maggots had turned into perfect sinking casters that stayed sinkers as they turned dark. Quite what happened I don't rightly know as my latest attempt ended with half floaters, half sinkers.

Wednesday 8 September 2010

One Up, One Down

Isn't it usually the case that the perfect tip off comes along just after you really needed it?

Saturday last I made use of another of the family's girly shopping trips to Stratford (including a return trip to Brum this time) for another shot at the bream challenge point. What could go wrong? The water would be down after the recently small floods, I had more than five hours available depending upon how involved in the wonders of Accessorize (the female equivalent of Tackle Shop) they became, and if the right swim was open, because at Lucy's Mill I'm thinking it really has to be just the one for the bream, then I should sew it up comfortably.

Tuesday 7 September 2010

Mal de Mer: The Monster from The Deep

Keith came over to the canal for an evenings jawing and fishing last weekend. We had a few hours after ruffe, in which time Keith had three good hand sized perch, I had one about the size of my thumb. The canal is that zonal. The ruffe were elsewhere, of course, though I have caught the baby grand total of three from the stretch in the past, and then we went a'zandering, which I find, for some unfathomable reason, an exciting prospect. We failed with them as well, though.

He now thinks that I'm 'not right in the head,' after regaling him with my salty doggerel about the recent charter trip after tope, in which I visibly and audibly enjoyed the fruits of triumphing over the monster from the deep, the horror that is sea sickness.

Monday 6 September 2010

Commercial Sense: The Forgotten Art of Floating Crust

Summer is but a month from its inevitable end and I have still to catch enough of a number of the summer species to earn myself challenge points for them. Tench are still outstanding despite a couple of concerted efforts for them, as are king carp, who, I have to admit, I have avoided thinking about. I'd a venue in mind, and an approach too. These had been in place since January but I'd never acted. Now it seemed I'd have to...

Sunday 5 September 2010

Commercial Sense: A Quarry Query

Imagine that Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble are now a couple of old geezers who've given up the golf and ten pin bowling and now like to fish with poles made from of the rib bones of dinosaurs. Rockhead Quarry, where they once worked, has been closed these past thirty years, has become overgrown in the meantine and lately turned into a fishery and it's the place where Fred and Barney like to go catch carp on a sunday afternoon.

Friday 27 August 2010

Ilfracombe, Day Two: Come Hell or High Water

"Lundy, southwesterly, 3 to 4, increasing 5 or 6 at times. later increasing 7 to gale 8, veering south Easterly, moderate or rough, occasionally very rough later, rain or showers, fog patches, moderate to poor, occasionally very poor."

That's what we didn't know...

Thursday 26 August 2010

Ilfracombe, Day One: On and Off the Rocks

Fishing is all about weather.

It doesn't matter where you are headed, be it tarn, brook, lake or loch, cut, drain, reservoir, lake, stream or pond, the weather is either with you, or against. Of course, usually you can still fish if the weather becomes inclement, just so long as you have some way or means that enables you to carry on in relative comfort. However, I failed to mention the sea, which is, if you'll forgive me, a very large and very different kettle of fish from all the rest.

Sunday 22 August 2010

Ilfracombe Bound

We dropped into the pub early friday evening for a couple of drinks, and when we came out I was bound to Ilfracombe on a sea fishing trip with one of my drinking pals, Monday morning through Wednesday evening.

Shit happens...

Friday 20 August 2010

Fishing Challenge Wake Up Call

After messing around all of the first half of the year and not taking the challenge so seriously that I couldn't fish for whatever I wanted, whenever and wherever I wanted, I now know that I must pull my finger out of my hole if I want to end the year on anything like a respectable footing. It reminds me a little of the second year at uni.

Tuesday 17 August 2010

The Autodidact's Guide to Fly Casting - Step 1 : The Limp Wristed Thrash

I received my prize for the Fishing Magic Forum photo competition a few weeks ago - an entry level fly outfit from Game Fishing Supplies of Northumberland. This was the second time I had won this prize, the first time I got myself a pair of ABU reels but this time I couldn't find anything in the way of coarse tackle on the company's website so I plumped to buy a Shakespeare 6-7 weight rod and a Scierra wide arbor reel with my £50 winnings.

Friday 13 August 2010

Coming Apart at the Seams

I had just three hours from 2pm onwards in which to build a swim at Lucy's Mill that would provide enough fat bream for a challenge point. I needed nineteen pounds and ten ounces of them; a seemingly impossible target in such a short time scale especially as it would probably take an hour or so to get the first results...

Thursday 12 August 2010

Operation Albernus Albernus

The holiday break at Anchor Meadow may not have been particularly successful in terms of sheer quantities of challenge points gained, in fact it was an unmitigated disaster to be frank, with nuls points gained whatsoever out of the many feasible and possible points on offer, but it was the greatest fun in the trying, and that is what really matters with fishing, surely?

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Holiday on the Wark's Avon, Day 4 - Bleak Prospects

This damnable fishing challenge wreaks the most peculiar effects in a fisherman's perceptions of the natural order in things of importance. Last year at this very spot I was chasing the bewhiskered royalty of the river, now I was battling to locate the pearly kings of the stream, the ever so umble bleak, and not only that, I was pursuing them in deadly earnest. Strange days...

Tuesday 10 August 2010

Holiday on the Wark's Avon, Day 3 - A Monstrous Intrusion

Day three of my ever diminishing challenge chances dawned and I was up on the point gunning after the curiously elusive bleak, as early as possible. There simply had to be some bleak somewhere in the mighty breadth of water out front, Kev had caught plenty of them last year right here and under the rod top, so they should be still be out there somewhere, surely?

Monday 9 August 2010

Holiday on the Wark's Avon, Day 2 - Expect the Unexpected

Quite unintentionally we'd pitched the tent with the opening directly in line with the rising sun. I woke with the first sunbeams burning my eyes out and unwillingly dragged myself out of bed to go fish, and as I'd had only just finished a weird dream of bream, I would go fish for them.

Sunday 8 August 2010

Holiday on the Wark's Avon, Day 1 - Reconnaissance is Never Wasted Time

We arrived last night, just as light faded, but pitched the tent all the same, in relative comfort. This year, we pitched on the camp site rather than on the island, when the owner expressed his wishes that we didn't.... Complaints apparently, from boat people, most probably...

I took a reacquaintancing walk down to the river and saw a few white vans parked behind swims which can only mean the one thing at Anchor Meadow - barbel anglers hoping to capitalise upon the ten till midnight feeding spell. I decided not to join them but stayed at camp and sank a few beers.

Thursday 29 July 2010

Northern Excursions

Judy's daughter Zena had a flight to catch last Friday Morning from Manchester, bound to Chicago. We decided to use the opportunity, as Judy was now off work for the college summer holidays, to stay up near the Lake District at Arnside, one of the country's premier flounder marks, and then take in a visit to some friends expecting their first baby up in Baildon, near Bradford, and then over to Whitby for a little fossicking, a round or three of beer drinking and of course, a cast or two of some long desired beachcasting.

Thursday 22 July 2010

Small Stream Adventures: Perch Perfect

I'd been cueing up a trip to 'The Ditch' after its resident perch population ever since discovering by happenchance, a fresh and hitherto unknown contingent living happily in one of its pools. Now, I needed to secure a perch point on the challenge scoreboard, to pass the current British record weight for the species currently standing at five pounds and fifteen ounces, and I thought that perhaps, if I was very lucky, that there might just be enough

Monday 19 July 2010

Commercial Sense: Sunday Evening Feeding Frenzy

I didn't intend to fish casters at all but I'd managed to successfully turn 2 pints of red maggots into casters by accident. The two pints were in separate tins; one full of old maggots and one of freshly bought, but the old maggots had got wet so I left the top off overnight so that they'd dry out.

I forgot all about them...

And it rained the next day...!

Friday 16 July 2010

Nothin' Doing at Waspo

It's been a bit busy of late. All of a sudden all the little things that can keep a man from his fishing have occurred simultaneously, I even wasted good money on a pint of maggots in expectation of a normal fishing agenda and now they are a pint of rudd food...

Thursday 8 July 2010

Small Stream Adventures: New Discoveries

This morning I took the opportunity to revisit the stretch of the stream, where, at the same time last year, I had originally discovered a population of good sized roach and perch. It looked exactly as it did then, but blimey, how it's changed since winter

Friday 2 July 2010

Commercial Sense: 10 minus 1

That's how many species I caught today...

According to plan I should have been bagging up on at least one and hopefully three target species; those that would get me points on the fishing challenge scoreboard, but I'm afraid nothing ever runs 'according to plan' with me. In the end I actually did manage to score two points, only I scored them for species that I have already scored for...

Wednesday 30 June 2010

Jeff Hatt, Tyro Fluffchucker

Well, it finally arrived after the first despatch got 'lost' somewhere in the carrier's Newcastle depot, en-route. Here am I, covered in paint, with my entry level fly outfit, a 9 foot Shakespeare #6-7 Odyssey rod, Scierra Avalanche #7/9 large arbour reel, and a Shaky zinger for my disgorger

Saturday 26 June 2010

Record Breaking Week

I'm bemused...

The viewing figures for this blog have risen steadily over the last month and this week (ending Sunday) will top all previous records for not only unique visitors but most importantly, for those readers who return on a regular basis — those treasured souls who magazine publishers bribe to subscribe. What has caused this rise I don't rightly know? It's all good though

Friday 25 June 2010

Half Time

It's coming up to the end of June, half way through the year and Keith has published a graph (skiving obviously!) of the fishing challenge progress on his blog ~

Monday 21 June 2010

The Not Exactly Magnificent, but Under Prevailing Conditions of Weed Growth, Weather and River Levels, Quite Satisfactory Seven, Including 'Bullheads by Design.'

Sunday dawned bright and clear and with not only an utterly cloudless sky but one also minus the ubiquitous Coventry contrail display that so mars virtually every bolt of clear blue we get up here in the dead centre of England. It was promising to be a fine day, if not a proper hotty.

Dace Decider

Kev invited me out for a days fishing for Wednesday. I found out about the arrangement on Tuesday night on arrival home from Compton Verney when Judy announced I was, "going fishing tomorrow with Kev, he'll be round at nine for you."

Cool. Not arguing!

Saturday 19 June 2010

In Capability's Hands

Somehow, I got home after a bit of a bender Tuesday night and managed to type a tweet and post it successfully, although I can remember absolutely nothing of it and only realised I'd done it when I came across it later - it was remarkably well written considering that I would have pissed in a wardrobe by that point

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Pond Life - Sans Barbules...

Today, by dint of a late change of Judy's mind and therefore of family timing I found that I had an entire post - work evening free to fish in, if I wished, and as the weather seemed to be on the mend after yesterday's spat, I thought it would be rude not to.

Monday 14 June 2010

Pond Life - You've gotta have Faith

My master-plan was a return to Parker's Pool for a dawn to dusk full day blow out session involving an early ground-bait bombardment of selected swims and day long roaming style peg hopping and all in pursuit of the pond's elusive population of crucian carp.

Thursday 10 June 2010

Pond Life - It Never Rains...

The canal has gone into a sulk again, as does from time to time. Bites are hard to find and fish difficult to catch. I had a couple of short sessions in the week, the first being a complete wash out and the second marked by the capture of one small roach and the horror of losing a really strong fish, probably a tench, to sudden line failure above the hooklink.

Friday 4 June 2010

Gudgeon Got

Keith picked me up on his way to Brookfields on Tuesday afternoon where he could have another crack at a brown goldfish point and I could gain a dead cert for the umble gudgeon.

Wednesday 26 May 2010


An angler who fishes but catches nought - has he failed to cast to biting fish or succeeded in casting to fish not biting?

Such philosophical conundrums as arise on the bank side from time to time and to even the least reflexive of anglers, are never the product of idle thought but grow from the root of peculiar practical experiences, like yesterday's...

Tuesday 25 May 2010

Identifying Silver Bream

The silver bream has to be one of the most difficult to identify fish in British waters, not because there is any real possibility of any moderately experienced angler mistaking specimens for 'skimmers', one of the most commonly caught and easily ID'd of all British fish

Thursday 20 May 2010

C'mon you Silvers...!

I think we four of the fishing challenge have all concocted our own peculiar strategic approaches to securing points; Keith's for example is — secure the easy ones first and then concentrate upon the hard ones later, and mine goes

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Ruffe Justice

I went up the cut last night for an hour or two just to snatch some fishing hours as I am now forced by last minute commitments and a family wedding in Essex over the weekend coming to cancel or postpone all my angling arrangements

Thursday 13 May 2010

Commercial Sense - Up Windward End

With a whole day ahead of us and visiting yet another new water so far as I was concerned, we arrived at Long Itchington raring to go and pulled in the car park of Stockton Reservoir at eight thirty AM only to find it almost full to capacity...

Monday 10 May 2010

Pond Life - Wholly Macaroni!

Of all the set of four local free stillwaters I've fished over the last couple of years, there has been one that I have studiously avoided dunking a line in. I call it the 'Bomb Crater' because it is one of the most featureless water filled holes in the ground that I have ever laid eyes on

Saturday 8 May 2010

Hi! My Name Is...

A little while back I was dragged to the local Tesco's for one of our regular 'big shops' and as usual I peeled off formation as soon as I got through the door and dive bombed the magazine racks

Thursday 6 May 2010

Peaks and Troughs

A crash in temperatures occurred last Friday and the bream of the canal who'd been fooled into starting their annual love-in early and were just beginning to deposit and fertilize spawn, had their nuptuals brought to a premature halt as ten degrees of daytime temperature were wiped off the thermometer virtually overnight

Monday 3 May 2010

Further Small Stream Adventures - Polly's Parlour

The stream that provided me with such wonderful winter roach sport in the frigid first months of the year has since been subject to my further scrutiny, but much closer to home

Thursday 29 April 2010

Pond Life - Good Prospects

Walking past a lily studded pond Friday last, on a dog walk to another lake some way farther out, I frightened a fish that'd been laying up in the shade of a tree in the bright morning sun

Thursday 22 April 2010

Commercial Sense - Allsorts of Fun

After enduring such a fruitless and frustrating exercise as my week long short session assault on the cut had been, it was a blessed relief to set out at seven thirty in the morning and be looking forward to an entire day sampling the delights of the angling equivalent of Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Monday 19 April 2010

Nothing Doing Down the Cut

After experiencing an infuriating but endlessly informative series of miniscule indications, slow pulls and twangs, knocks, tremors, husked maggots and the eventual hooking and landing one of the suspected culprits on Wednesday evening, I decided that not only would I get back to the same spot on the morrow, but would, because I could, get back not only on the morrow after that too, but on all the morrows following

Thursday 15 April 2010

Odd Bods, New Reels and Rods

It's been quite a week. Quite a week...

Last Thursday's missive was published and then I had an evening business meeting with two portrait clients at once, and believe me, one is hard enough at the best of times. Saturday we took a impromptu trip to the seaside, a two hour journey to Weston Super Mare during which I began the ominous process of coming down with a flu bug...

Thursday 8 April 2010

Pond Life - Fishing in the Balance

I've been out and about looking at some local and free stillwater fishing opportunities in the last few weeks with a mind to exploring the tench, rudd and carp angling potential of each throughout the coming summer. I did something similar about this time last year, if my memory serves me right

Thursday 1 April 2010

Articles Posted, in err, Articles

I've posted a couple of articles about roach (what else!) under the Articles tab at the top of the site page just in case you were short of anything to do this evening and wanted something extra to read...

I'll be posting more, as and when I complete em, with notifications, of course.

Also, I'm going to be posting future blog entries every Thursday so that I can condense the weeks 'events' into a single regular missive rather than feel the need to get home after every session and waffle on about every damn thing that I do.

But, I still do reserve the right to publish out of hours if I do catch something spectacular...

I will also endeavor to publish a new article once a month.

The First Oxymorons of Spring

Enough Rods...

Well, the Ides of March have come...they have come, but they are not gone...

Oh dear, it's that time of the year again. My blog entries for this time last season confirm it. It's crap diddly crap, crap. An utter waste of rod hours. And the spring weather, which was coming along very nicely, has turned horrid

Thursday 25 March 2010

On Blanking...

It's now ten days since I last posted anything here, and that is probably a record. In all honesty there has been little to report - I've been fishing a few times but little of note has happened because at this time of the year the available coarse fishing is, let's be frank, crap. If we thought for a moment that we could get our money back then us coarse anglers'd be forming an orderly queue at Mother Nature's door

Sunday 14 March 2010

...It Is Now!

You'll be pleased to hear that I cured my knee and got out on the bank after all. It's my amateur physiotherapy technique that did it, a technique that for some unfathomable reason people think is hilariously funny, or rather the fact that I practice it, and then claim healing powers for myself afterwards, is hilariously funny. But it does work...!

Friday 12 March 2010

They Think It's All Over...

A new PB but not for me...

We had a fishing challenge moot on the banks of the Avon at Stratford Town on Tuesday night, the four members of the challenge league all fishing at one and the same time, and for the first time ever. Something just had to happen...

Monday 8 March 2010

Off We Jolly Well Trot! - Sunday

Chub and roach on the stick...

Day 2 saw us traipsing off to the Saxon Mill for a spot of roach and dace fishing. On the way we noticed a gathering throng of photographers and joe public held back by police cordons around the Courtaulds factory site

Sunday 7 March 2010

Off We Jolly Well Trot! - Saturday

Kev breaks his small fish hex...

"Oh I'm sorry, you can't fish today and I really shouldn't have let you on last week either, it's the close season for fishing now, isn't it?"

These were the words that greeted Kev and I as we attempted to purchase our tickets for a day's roaving on the rivers of Mythe Farm. Oh dear, put your diplomat head on Jeff.

Thursday 4 March 2010

Small Stream Adventures - Love the One You Trust

Another nice brace of brook roach...

It looks like the possibility of any further cold weather is fast disappearing, the buds are bursting, the birds are singing the whole day long, the sun is climbing the sky and we are just a month away from British Summertime

Sunday 28 February 2010

Perfect Sence

Flood water chub...

Because of my recent success with small stream roach I've been looking around for other brooks of similar scale that would be worth the effort of summertime reconnaissance trips with a view to finding the roach

Tuesday 23 February 2010

Bargain Basement Tackle

Must haves...

I'm a big fan of the The Range. They carry a load of stock from the Swedish tackle firm Fladen, some of which is the most unutterable ordure, the majority of which is useful, very little of which is top flight, but, you can always find some useful bits and bobs if you can manage to stop laughing at some of the hilarious rubbish on offer

Friday 19 February 2010


Hard going for river roach...

Snowdrops sprouting upon the bank can only mean the one thing, Spring calling time on Winter. Well, at least the very poor fishing that has prevailed since Christmas will soon be a distant memory; shame that it'll be the close season before you know it

Sunday 14 February 2010

Mutt Madness

Doggy troubles...

Yesterday should have been such a great day's fishing, my best laid plan was sound as a pound and the day ahead long and full of fish, my bait was prepared, gear fettled and all loaded in the car and ready for the off by nine. Well, you know what they say about plans don't you?

Monday 8 February 2010

Scratching Around

Hard work on the Avon...
You do know that we river anglers miss the very, very best part of the fishing year because of the coarse fishing close season, don't you? Just at the the time of year when a decisive and permanent upturn in the ambient temperatures throws all the fish in the stream into joyous raptures and unabashed availability, we cannot fish for them. If only the season lasted one more month...!

Monday 1 February 2010

Small Stream Adventures - Old Brook, Young River

Further explorations of the brook...
On Sunday morning I met with Keith for a session exploring the further potential of the local brook that had produced such fabulous roach fishing for me during the recent snows. Keith had already conducted a recce

Monday 25 January 2010

Pale Imposter

In anticipation of a weekend session on the Avon after a fat dace or two, early Friday morning I took a stroll to Tusses Tackle for a pint of maggots. This walk takes me across a set-aside arable field whose ruts and ditches were now full of standing water; evidently the overnight rain was far heavier than I'd thought it to be.

Carp Fever Nostalgia

The two pictures posted below of ancient carp captures have been hanging around in our bedroom for some time, subject to the little shop of chemical horrors that is a woman's toilet, and so I thought I'd scan them (and remove to a safe place) and show you the only proof extant of my fishy adventures prior to moving to Coventry in late 2008.

Thursday 21 January 2010

Small Stream Adventures - Flotsam and Jetsom

A brace of brook roach...
An afternoon opportunity arrived quite unexpectedly, the tinkling brook, the local cut, now which was it to be? Both were now quite fishable, the flood had long subsided, and all the ice had all but gone, a small matter undecided...

OK. That's quite enough of that nonsense...!

Thursday 14 January 2010

Small Stream Adventures - Devil in the Detail

A fabulous catch of brook roach...
I'm never the pessimist when it comes to my fishing. I don't set out the door believing that I will not catch good fish, that some circumstance or another is already pitched against me, that my chances are anything other than fair to good, and on occasion excellent, or that luck has anything whatsoever to do with it, and so, despite failing to catch on my second trip to the brook I still had very high hopes as I set out upon my third.

Saturday 9 January 2010

Slushy Mush

A few difficulties in the snow...
It's a pity that the temperatures have risen just enough to sustain a very slow thaw, because the canal was becoming so hard frozen that a few days ago I ventured out upon it to see if it would hold my weight, and it did...!

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Small Stream Adventures - Significant Accumulations

A startling catch of roach...
I do get loved up with proper cold weather and especially if I can get out and fish. Take today for instance; overnight we'd had 'the worst snowfall in living memory' (to those under 20 years of age) across the entire nation and are now 'enduring the worst winter for 30 years' according to the rags and are in line for 'the worst winter in a century' and so forth, so of course, this morning I was scouting about for a fishing opportunity so that I could enjoy the very, very 'worst' of it, head on.

Monday 4 January 2010

Our Fishing Challenge

I just love it when Christmas is finally over and done with. This year it went on much too long for my liking and all because New Years Day fell on a Friday therefore appending an extra two days to the fag end of festivities before we could resume la vie ordinaire. I do love a well crafted Christmas Day though

Sunday 3 January 2010

Off the Blocks

T'other night I made the grave error of going out for a booze up with Keith, Danny and Pete. I got fairly plastered it has to be said; unfortunately I'd been on the vino for most of the day and because wine and beer is decidedly queer in my (honestly) vast experience, every single inch of ale imbibed from thereon in was to result in a country mile of fucked upness. I never learn...